Autumn delights - our rosehips and a pumpkin gifted to us from a friend's veggie patch

A short wander down our road there are a glut of bright red rosehips seemingly exploding out of the hedgerow. Unfortunately they’re down the ditch a fair way and encased in blackberry brambles, but it has not deterred me from having a go at harvesting them. Having read recently that rosehips contain between 20 to 40 times the vitamin c of oranges, I have been determined to produce something both delicious and capable of deterring winter time colds and flus from them.

The kids weren’t keen on helping much – the roses were prickly, and there was none of the instant gratification of blackberry and blueberry picking that they enjoy so much. This jelly should compensate them for their efforts though – especially if I make scones for them to smother it on!

 Rosehip and apple jelly

Ingredients:

1 kilogram of apples (windfall apples are fine)

45ogr rosehips

sugar

The rosehips after being pulverised

Method:

Cut up apples into quarters. You can leave the pips in, just cut out any bruises etc. Cover in pan with enough water to just cover them, then add another 300ml of water. Boil until apples turn to mash.

Meanwhile, pulverise rosehips in a food processor or similar. When apple has turned into mash, add puliverised rosehips and boil for another 10 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 more minutes.

Place combined mixture into a scalded jelly bag or muslin, and suspend overnight to catch juices.

The mash slowly dripping into the jelly bag (leave overnight)

Measure the liquid you have collected in your bowl. For every 600ml add 400grams of sugar, and place in pot togher. Cook until you reach 220F/105C (setting point), then decant into warm jars, and seal.

I found this recipe on the river cottage website here. The jelly is the most gorgeous rich amber colour – and it tastes delicious.

I’m thinking I may have to go harvest some more rosehips to make another batch (this recipe made 6 smallish jars).

Rosehip and apple jelly cooling in jars

I think I must be on a bit of a post jelly making high as I’m now full of enthusiasm to get planting suitable varieties of roses for the sole purpose of producing rosehips in our own garden – it seems to me they’d create a great hedging plant, provide a safe place for native birds, and provide for our own home-grown pharmacy.

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